Editor’s Note: Due to several comments that included personal, identifying information, I’ve closed comments on this post. If you need help, please contact the resources below. I can’t personally help you get the support you need.

This morning I received an email from a single mother of three who is out-of-work and struggling to pay her bills. She wanted to know how she could sign up to receive help from an adopt-a-family program this Christmas.That email broke my heart. I did some research and sent her a few resources in her location. Unfortunately, I fear that there will be many more families receiving from an adopt-a-family program this year, and many fewer families supporting these worthy charities. If you can afford to help out less fortunate families this year, please do. Please see my previous post about Christmas charities to find out how my extended family supports needy families.

If you or someone you know needs help this Christmas, here’s how to get it.

Where to Find an Adopt-A-Family Program
Most adopt-a-family programs start requesting donations in early November, which means needy families must be found before then. If you’ll need help this holiday season, contact your local resources now to be added to the rolls. Start with these resources:

Local Church
If you’re a member of a local church, ask the pastor if they have community support program. Many churches have programs that provide financial support to member families in need. At Christmas, they also include those families in their food drives and gift drives. The recipients are usually anonymous, so you don’t have to worry about embarrassment. However, if you’re active in your church, fellow congregants may be even more generous if they know they’re helping “one of their own.”

Salvation Army
The Salvation Army operates Christmas programs around the country. If your local church doesn’t offer a program, contact the Salvation Army to find out how your local program works. Visit their site to find your local branch, then call and ask to speak to the person managing their Christmas charity drive.

Child and Family Services Department
Each county or state operates a Child and Family Services department. Often these departments provide lists of families in need to local charities. If your family is struggling, contact your county office to find out what sort of help is available to you. If they can’t help you directly, they can help you locate the office or program that can. To find your local county’s office, either look at the front of the white pages under “government,” or search for your county and “family services” in Google. Example: “los angeles family services.” If you’re struggling, they can also help you enroll in food and medical benefits programs.

Google an Adopt-a-Family Program
Finally, you can simple enter the name of your city or county next to the words “adopt a family” to find programs in your area. For example, “los angeles adopt a family.” Call several to find out if you qualify for their program.

With so many families seeking help this year, it may be more difficult to qualify, so keep trying until you get the help you need. And for those of you who are doing okay this year, please give to an adopt-a-family program if you can.


8 Responses to “How to Join an Adopt-a-Family Program”

  1. Aryn on October 27th, 2008 10:20 am

    I’ve received another request for help. If anyone knows of Columbus, Ohio resources for a single father with three sons, please email me.

  2. Money Hack Carnival #36 - Scary Finances Edition | Free From Broke on October 29th, 2008 5:52 am

    [...] presents How to Join an Adopt-a-Family Program posted at Sound Money [...]

  3. Weekly Roundup and Carnivals on October 31st, 2008 9:02 am

    [...] @ Sound Money Matters points in the direction of adopting a family for Christmas. I wonder if maybe I should do it this [...]

  4. Aryn on November 5th, 2008 3:51 pm

    I’ve received a third request for help from a family in St. Louis. If anyone knows of resources for a young family in this region, please email me.

  5. billie jo on November 5th, 2008 5:10 pm

    i think this is very helpful tp people who are really struggaling like me my mom just past away and im only 11 she had cancer this years been really bad for us for kids. thanks for offering up this program because thanks to you my dad sighned up for it i believe.

  6. kenasha on November 7th, 2008 9:30 am

    i am greatful to have found this site because i to am a single mother of four living in a low income appartment looking for help for my children this christmas,

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